PORTLAND, Oregon (CBS/AP) - Former Boy Scout Kerry Lewis, 38, has waited 30 years for justice to be served to the Boy Scouts of America who failed to protect him from an abusive assistant scoutmaster in the 1980s.
A jury awarded him $1.4 million dollars Tuesday and will return next week to decide on up to $25 million in punitive damages.
In 1983, Timur Dykes told a bishop from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) that he had molested 17 boy scouts, including Lewis. He was eventually convicted of various abused charges and spent time in prison.
Lewis' attorneys argued that the Boy Scouts organization was reckless for allowing Dykes to continue to associate with young scouts. They also harped on a pile of secret records which were dubbed the "perversion files" because they contained "red flag" information about potential Scoutmasters.
Lawyers for the Scouts argued the files helped weed out suspected child molesters. Lewis' attorneys said the information should not have been kept from parents.
"We are saddened by what happened to the plaintiff. The actions of the man who committed these crimes do not represent the values and ideals of the Boy Scouts of America," the group said in a written statement.
The Boy Scouts must pay $840,000, or 60 percent, of the $1.4 million verdict. The Cascade Pacific Council in Portland must pay $210,000. The LDS church already paid $350,000 to cover its portion of the case.
Lewis tried not to react as the verdict was read, but gave his mother a long hug afterward, reported MSNBC.